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review 2017-03-06 00:00
Swarm - Scott Westerfeld,Margo Lanagan,D... Swarm - Scott Westerfeld,Margo Lanagan,Deborah Biancotti Superfast read with some interesting ideas, but wasn't up to the usual levels of brilliance that I appreciate in Westerfeld novels... not sure if it's because it was a 3-person cowrite, or just that it suffered from second-in-a-trilogy syndrome... Could be the dark & depressing set-up-the-final-book ideas and developments, or the super large cast that are hard to identify with, or just the some of the cleverness of the ideas doesn't actually feel that fresh, but this wasn't an out-of-the-park hit for me. Still, solid thriller/action, love the teen superhero premise, and I'll keep an eye out for the next book.
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review 2016-06-16 15:14
Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld
Zeroes - Scott Westerfeld,Deborah Biancotti,Margo Lanagan

Heroes, not Zeroes.
This book reminded me of the show, Heroes. All the characters had various powers from seseeing through anothers' eyes to changing the mood of a crowd. With these powers, they tried using them for the greater good. In this case though, it was to save their own from the mess he was in. Still, seeing them use their power was exciting to read about, no matter the reasoning. 
The outcome was everything I wanted but yet nothing what I expected. I know that doesn't make sense, but if you read it, it will make sense. 
Paranormal fans will definitely eat this one up!



Source: www.fredasvoice.com/2016/06/zeroes-by-scott-westerfeld-44.html
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review 2016-06-04 00:00
Zeroes - Scott Westerfeld,Deborah Biancotti,Margo Lanagan I hadn't heard of Zeroes before, how I don't know, but I jumped at the chance to read it for free on RivetedLit.com. I've loved Scott Westerfeld's previous work, but had never heard of Margo Lanagan or Deborah Biancotti. Now I'm really curious about their work and plan on checking it out Soon™.

Zeroes starts with Ethan, aka Scam, creating a hot mess. Nate, aka Bellweather, brings the crew back together to save Scam's sorry ass. Amid non-stop action and drama, we learn their powers, dynamics, and why they're no longer friends.

Scam's Voice ability pales in comparison to his stupidity. The Zeroes jump from problem to problem and Scam keeps fucking up along the way. As annoying as he can be with his whining, self-pitying, and irresponsibility, it's NOT his fault Kelsie's dad is in the mess. Her dad would've been fucked anyways. But Scam's dick takes the lead and proves he's stupid no matter which head is in charge.


Okay, maybe that's not totally fair but his attraction to Kelsie does propel the second half of the plot with the mobsters.

Kelsie gets dragged into it by trying to help her scumbag dad. I understand the fear not knowing what's going to happen to you and your future but I don't get why she saved her dad...It's okay to let toxic family members go and sinking yourself, your life into saving them isn't a virtue. And I'm really tired of it being touted as one.

He's a shitty drug dealing con-artist. He doesn't deserve death by mob, no one does, but I'd have just called the cops and sent everyone to jail. Saving him from jail does nothing but make all the Zeros criminals without a defense.


As it stands, they all got away with everything. It's hardly satisfying. The Zeroes should've listened to Crash and worked on saving their butts. I understand saving Scam because he got in trouble with his powers and couldn't have gone to the police but they should've been smarter about it.

Okay, so they're a group of stupid teens and act like it. Even with the not-that-satisfying ending, I kinda love it for this. They're saving two con-artists, one who robs a bank and is a first degree murderer (by definition of CA law, doesn't matter if he didn't pull the trigger). Why? Because of personal ties and in the case of saving Kelsie's dad to date/recruit her.


This sounds like a start of a group of villains. Good intentions don't mean shit and at least one of them realizes that. I'm interested to see how this continues and works out. Glorious Leader clearly had plans...but what kind?

Though I have some issues with the why's behind the tale, I did enjoy this fresh take on powers, teens with those powers, and being a hero. They’re authentic growing teens and fuck up accordingly. Each grows in their own way and their group evolves with them.


My favorite characters were Teebo/Anon, Riley/Flicker, and Chizara/Crash. I didn't have any problems switching between all their POVs and loved the little tidbits gleamed from it. Sure, I have my favorites but each brought something solid to narrative and story.

I grew to appreciate all the characters, even those I didn't particularly like by the end.


Scam's backstory really helped his character and he has fantastic progression at the end. I'm really proud of him, though he still needs some work. I have a theory about his power too...

Kelsie/Mob was defined by her relationship with her father and her group-addicted ways. While she didn't grow as much or as independently as I would have liked, she still did grow as a person. It was just hard to like her after she found out how far her father had sunk and still went forward on the same path. But I like how she deals with Scam and the group.

Riley/Flicker was defined by her power, sister and love interests. It took a while for the full scope of her and Nate's relationship to come to light and I liked how they both handled themselves. Her feelings towards Anon and her sister was adorable. I give major props for how she tracked him down and remembered him.

Nate/Bellweather alternated between the blandest character and the creepiest. His powers, his use of them, and his secret agenda were the main cause behind the latter and the former was just his bossy, back-seat driving. Later he gets his ass out there and puts in some work though.

Chizara/Crash: I loved her thoughts, her morals, her consequence and her family from beginning to end. She kicked ass and though I loved every minute of her narrative, I'm glad I got all their perspectives. Not sure if I could've stuck it out without the rest of them because POV's brought a lot of insight.

Teebo/Anon: The way his power affects him is just heartbreaking and it's awesome how he tries to use it. His philosophy on life doesn't feel fake or forced, he works at being Zen. He does screw up but it was mostly out of his control and I'm sure he'll work on making it right.

The best part about them though was the twists of the supernormal abilities and how it affected their upbringing, their personalities, and morals. I don't want to spoil it but I'm in love with how grounded it is. Ethan/Scam is the only whiny "I'm doooomed. It's a cuuuuurse" of the bunch while the others are more nuanced and balanced. Once Ethan's past is revealed though it becomes understandable and his character progression redeems him.





If you want superhero action with a fresh take on powers and dynamic people, Zeroes is highly recommended.

Have you read any of these authors? Any recs for someone new to Lanagan and Biancotti's books?

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review 2016-01-03 21:49
Zeroes - Scott Westerfeld,Deborah Biancotti,Margo Lanagan

I didn't want this one to end!

It was action packed, witty and had a cast of characters that you can't help but love! 

I'm ready for another installment. 

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review 2015-12-21 16:33
Zeroes Book Review
Zeroes - Scott Westerfeld,Deborah Biancotti,Margo Lanagan

As per usual, a book that is over 500 pages is just too long. Especially considering this is the start of another series, and sigh, I'm tired of series in young adult literature. While overall, I enjoyed Zeroes there were too many characters and everything happened because of one selfish, stupid act which was easily annoying and frustrating. 


They are zeroes not hero's. Several teenagers have these special powers, including Ethan, Flicker, Nate, and many more. But they aren't hero's but they're not villains either. They're practically invisible. But when Ethan's voice gets out of control in a bank robbery things spiral out of control for the zeroes. They are forced to work together against an angry mobster, the police and everyone who has seen the video.


 This was enjoyable for the most part. I just really wish there weren't as many characters. I'll probably read the next one to see if it gets any better. 

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